Stories about CNN

Dear CNN: Lailat al-Qadr is not a ‘security risk’

I was putting my shoes on, leaving for my evening prayers, when my phone buzzed with a text: “Saw a CNN byline linking ‘Night of Power’ to the recent terror alert. Talk of sensationalism.” You know how it goes. The story was largely accurate – prompted by fears of a terrorist attack, in an unprecedented move on Sunday; the US closed 21 embassies  across the Middle East and North Africa. Add a strategically implanted – and inaccurate -analysis by CNN’s Peter Bergen, who alleged that Sunday was the “Night of Destiny”, making it an auspicious occasion for al-Qaeda extremists to die. Social media dies for ...

Read Full Post

Reporting on Gaza is about keeping the viewers at peace

“Follow the money…just follow the money.” The infamous dialogue said by Hal Holbrook playing ‘Deep Throat’ in the movie ‘All the President’s Men’ still holds a lot of wisdom today in understanding as to why the media behaves the way it does. So when I saw the onslaught of memes on Facebook and angry tweets crying foul on the biased coverage by the Western media on the Gaza issue, it made me think of old Deep Throat. News organisations worldwide claim to be bastions of objectivity, fairness, balance and accuracy; they have to. After all, who would watch a news channel that doesn’t ...

Read Full Post

Yes, Malala is more important than the average citizen

A death of a leader is always grieved more than the death of a worker. Likewise, the life of a national hero is celebrated more than the life of an ordinary citizen. This is a universal law – a trait common to all cultures. The battle of Badr in 624AD, the most decisive battle in Islamic history, was fought and won by 314 Muslim fighters including Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) went on creating an Islamic empire, and became the most eternal personality of Islam. Yet we don’t know much, or anything, about the remaining 313 fighters, apart from the ...

Read Full Post

They do leave, Mr Prime Minister

Despite calls from Pakistan’s opposition to step down or be ousted, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani  is still in charge. Fresh from his triumphant reception outside the Supreme Court, Gilani took on a different kind of challenge when he sat down for an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson last week. I have to say, the prime minister has come a long way since his television debut as the bumbling leader of a parliament of dunces. Throughout the CNN interview, he sounded confident and combative. His answers were mostly canned responses to the usual canned questions ...

Read Full Post

In our PM’s words: And why don’t they leave then?

A video showing the true colours of the Pakistani leadership is being passed around on the web. This time it’s our Prime Minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, who has shown the world why Pakistan is in such a sorry state.  For the initial five minutes of this video, our prime minister makes the usual excuses that have become the trademark of the Pakistan government. In the last 15 seconds, interviewer Becky Anderson tells Gilani about poll results that reveal that about a third of Pakistanis want to leave the country. This is when the video gets really interesting. Following this remark come ...

Read Full Post

What Al Jazeera did right: This revolution was televised

My friend, a fellow news junkie, asked me, “What’s the difference between CNN and Al Jazeera?” Answer: “CNN shows the missiles taking off, Al Jazeera shows them landing.” If any amongst us had doubts about this subtle difference, they were most certainly removed after following the Egyptian revolution unfold on Al Jazeera and its sanitised coverage on other mainstream western news networks. To further substantiate Al Jazeera’s credentials as the peoples’ news network that brings forth the people’s perspective devoid of an imperialist agenda, I can tell you this; Donald Rumsfeld condemned it, George Bush allegedly said he wanted to bomb it ...

Read Full Post

A Bakistani in Cairo

My Egypt moment wasn’t when the protests started or when they ended. It wasn’t during CNN’s live coverage, and it wasn’t in the 100 or so ‘Can this happen in Pakistan?’ discussions. It was when someone casually yelled out in the school corridor, “Hey Meiryum! Your hometown’s burning!” Cairo was my hometown. Tahrir Square was a 45-minute drive from my apartment. I lived in Cairo from the age of four till eight years – four years of my life. I was old enough to remember and store away memories and young enough to still understand nothing. My first day at the ...

Read Full Post

The mathematics of disaster

Can anyone – anyone at all – in this country do some simple math? The Pakistani premier, Yusuf Raza Gilani (whom I imagine all those wonderfully enlightened Zardari-bashers will vote for in the next election, given how badly they wanted someone on the ground, overlooking the relief efforts… what’s that? You don’t vote at all?) has said that 132,000 square kilometers of Pakistani territory has been affected by these floods. According to Wikipedia, Pakistan’s total territory cover 803,940 km-sq. Sixteen percent of our total landmass is currently inundated with water. And that’s just KP and Punjab. By the time that flood hits ...

Read Full Post

When 140 characters rule out 20 years

Recent happenings on the US media front have once again raised the debate about media freedom. The sacking of CNN Middle East Editor Octavia Nasr is one case in point. Who would have thought a 140 character tweet on a popular micro-blogging website would rule out 20 years of a journalism career? But it did. All hail freedom of speech. Senior Middle East Editor for CNN, Octavia Nasr was forced to resign following a controversial tweet she made extolling the Shiite cleric Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah. In the tweet Nasr said “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein ...

Read Full Post